Debswana Corporate Citizenship Manager, Barulaganye Mogotsi, says it is very important for communities in Botswana to be developed through sports so that the country’s position on the world map can continue to be recognized even in many years to come.
Mogotsi added that those who were given an opportunity while still young have excelled in many sporting aspects and continue to do very well even to date, citing athletes Nigel Amos, Amantle Montsho and Tracy Chaba of volleyball whom he referred to as Botswana’s talented gemstones.
Mogotsi was speaking at the handing over of sports equipment valued at P60 000 which was donated to the Re Ba Bona Ha mini Volleyball Development Programme for the Maun Region at Maun Sports Complex.
The handing over ceremony was attended by, among others, Botswana National Sports Council Chairman Solly Reikeletseng, representatives from the Botswana Primary School Sports Association (BOPSSA), the Botswana Volleyball Federation, those from the teaching fraternity and members of the public.
The equipment, comprising volleyball nets, balls, gloves and many other related items, will be distributed to the three centres of Sedie, Boseja and Shakawe, all of which fall under the Maun region.
Debswana Diamond Company has, through its corporate, social investment programme, already invested more than P3.7 million through the BNSC’s Re Ba Bona Ha programme for the past three years and the sponsorship, according to Mogotsi, is coming to an end in December this year.
He said Debswana has always supported sporting programmes as their mandate is to identify talent for development at an early age as it is crucial.
“It is very easy and helps a lot to develop children when they are still very young. Our association with the Re Ba Bona Ha programme, particularly, has seen it grow tremendously over the years. We have also set up centers of excellence as far as Bobonong, Francistown, Selebi Phikwe and now Maun, all of which, I am told, are doing very well,” said Mogotsi. “Sports is an economic opportunity and, as individuals, we are talented and gifted in various characters, which is why we need to develop these skills even further. Sport enhances the development of our children and, as Debswana, our contribution has united people of Botswana through sport, something which I think should be encouraged by other companies as well, as the need is still visible. But all in all, I would like to give thanks to teachers, as they have been the engines behind this programme. They are key and we really need to salute their contribution in sports development.”
For his part, Raditladi Raditladi of BOPSSA said their wish is to see their products (children in sports) showing seriousness and willingness to learn more. He said they have always had good and cordial relations with the Botswana Volley Ball Federation, as they have on many occasions offered a helping hand when they needed help the most. Should things go according to plan, he said they intend to send some of their children to train in Poland as there is good sports development there.
BNSC chairman Solly Reikeletseng said the good gesture portrayed by Debswana is a very admirable one even though it is now coming to an end.
“If I had my way, I would suggest you proceed because you have done well over the years. Working with companies like yours was very good and inspiring as our people in different sports codes have shown growth and maturity in recent years, all because they were motivated. But I wish to thank you for all the years we have worked together and will keep praying that you may reconsider your decision and optimistically continue the good work. We receive these gifts with both hands, and my wish is to see all who benefited to use them wisely and take good care of them, as they are very valuable.”